News - Mahindra
Inglo platform key to EV future: Mahindra
Two-brand approach, shared BEV architecture key to future-proofing Mahindra SUV range
23 May 2023
By MATT BROGAN
MAHINDRA has outlined further details of its five-vehicle, single-platform SUV strategy to Australian journalists in India last week, detailing how its future-focused range of high-riding models will form part of a dual-branded approach, similar to that already in place among global players including Seat/Cupra, Toyota/bZ and Ford Blue/Model e.
The Mahindra XUV (characterised by the new Twin Peaks logo) and BE (Born Electric) sub-brands will respectively electrify existing and future models for buyers across multiple markets.
Soon, Mahindra hopes these products will become part of a broader export plan, offering electric vehicles built on its scalable Inglo battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform – part of a technology sharing partnership with Volkswagen Group – to export markets, including Australia.
“Right now, our major focus is to get the platform development done and integrate the multitude of technologies it requires to operate effectively right, because we want to get this absolutely right,” Mahindra president of automotive technology and product development Ramasamy Velusamy told Australian journalists.
“We are almost completely new to electric, and we will get this product into the domestic market in parallel with the start of BEVs into export markets,” he said.
Interestingly, both the Mumbai-based company’s brands allow the electrification of models already on sale – and in the pipeline – meaning we could see electrified versions of freshly launched models, including the Scorpio and XUV700, as well as a not-far-off Scorpio-based utility, and even a future five-door Thar four-wheel drive.
That is just the XUV side of the business, whereas on the BE side of things, the new-from-the-ground-up platform – based on VW’s MEB architecture – that is modular, scalable, and designed to carry a range of body styles, will form the basis for five SUV and coupe-SUV models measuring between 4300-4700mm in length.
There are no plans for hybrid models.
A true multinational development, the Inglo program comes in part from the result of a $250 million cash injection from British International Investment and shared componentry and technologies from a joint-venture formed with Germany's Volkswagen.
Mr Velusamy detailed the progress of his team’s electrification strategy, saying collaboration with one of the world’s “key players” in the electric vehicle space had helped Mahindra realise its dream of developing an all-electric range, beginning with the e8 and e9 models he says will provide an electrified alternative to the XUV700 in SUV and coupe-SUV body styles.
“There are three or four key players (with which Mahindra had hoped to collaborate). Tesla is the main player, then you have BYD from China, and VW with their ID range. Of those, VW is the one who came forward to say they are willing to share electric technologies,” revealed Mr Velusamy.
“Volkswagen is a very reliable electric brand and will help us to jumpstart our electric future … we will use some of the motors, and a battery cell that we acquired from them.”
The collaboration with Volkswagen aims to yield more than one million vehicle units over its lifetime, the components shared with Mahindra common to those of the German marque’s MEB platform.
Both companies will also “explore further opportunities for collaboration”, opening the perspective of a broader strategic alliance to accelerate the electrification of India’s car market, and other areas of e-mobility, battery manufacturing and what it says are “energy solutions for the electric ecosystem” on the subcontinent.
It is unlikely the already released XUV400 e-SUV – a small electric SUV based on the SsangYong Tivoli and released in India late last year – will make it Down Under, leaving other future products as its most likely global contenders.
Mahindra will release is XUV.e8 in December this year, the Inglo-based SUV measuring 4740mm in length, 1900mm in width, 1760mm in height and 2762mm between the axles. It is said to offer a “combination of sheer performance, best-in-class technology and safety, intelligent all-wheel drive” as well as a “sophisticated cabin and supreme ride comfort both on and off the road”.
The model will be followed in April 2025 by the closely related XUV.e9 coupe-SUV with measurements of 4790mm long, 1905mm wide, 1690mm high and a 2775mm wheelbase. Mahindra says the “fearlessly modern design” of the model will combine “the strengths of an authentic SUV with the aerodynamic silhouette of a coupe.
From October 2025, the first BE branded model, the BE.05, will appear. It will offer a “racing-inspired design” that Mahindra says is “complemented seamlessly by multi-sensory experiences”, and will measure 4370mm in length, 1900mm in width, 1635mm in height and ride on a wheelbase measuring 2775mm.
The BE-05 will be followed a year later by the family-sized BE-07 (4565mm x 1900mm x 1660mm x 2775mm) and at a yet-to-be-advised later date by the “grand touring style” BE-09.
Mr Velusamy described the Ingo platform as offering “endless adaptability” and giving Mahindra the ability to produce “an SUV that fits multiple lifestyles”.
He said Inglo-based models would be offered with 60kWh and 80kWh battery packs, DC fast charging capability of up to 175kW for top-ups to 80 per cent of capacity in under 30 minutes and a choice of 170kW rear-wheel drive or 250kW all-wheel drive options with the latter claimed to deliver 0-100km/h acceleration in less than six seconds.
Mr Velusamy described the Inglo architecture as offering “one of the lightest skateboards” and that it would use lithium iron phosphate battery chemistry plus integrated motor, transmission and inverter modules.
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